House Republican Who Opposed Reynolds’ Voucher Plans Endorses Democrats

Rep. Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson) stands next to sign for Democrat Sara Smith, who he endorsed./Photo submitted

A longtime Republican Iowa House member that Gov. Kim Reynolds helped defeat in a GOP primary against a pro-voucher Republican has returned the favor by endorsing Reynolds’ Democratic opponent.

Rep. Dave Maxwell (R-Gibson) endorsed gubernatorial candidate Deidre DeJear and House candidate Sarah Smith, both Democrats

Smith is running against Rep. Dean Fisher for Iowa House District 53, which includes all of Poweshiek County and all but the northeast corner of Tama County. 

“I am very proud of his endorsement and while we may not agree on all of the issues, we have found common ground on key platforms that greatly affect voters in Poweshiek and Tama County,” Smith said.

“Those key issues are funding public schools and women’s healthcare access. Rep. Maxwell listened to his constituents and advocated based on that feedback. I intend to follow in his footsteps and be a representative that puts the needs of the voters over the party.”

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DeJear, who hopes to unseat incumbent Republican Gov. Kim Reynolds, also welcomed Maxwell’s endorsement and shared it on her campaign Facebook page.

“Iowa used to be a state that funded education first,” Maxwell said in his endorsement. “Not doing so has been a disservice to all Iowans. I appreciate Deidre’s proposals because it prioritizes funding public schools and allows for reasonable solutions to educate our children.”

Maxwell has served in the Iowa House since 2013 and his term expires in January.

During June’s Republican primary, Maxwell was specifically targeted by Reynolds because he opposed her plan to divest $55 million in public school funds toward private school tuition.

Redistricting put Maxwell and Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour) against each other in the primary. Fisher was endorsed by Reynolds and won—Reynolds made it a point to target House Republicans in the primary who weren’t on board with her voucher plan.


by Ty Rushing

To contact Senior Editor Ty Rushing for tips or story ideas, email him at or find him on Twitter @Rushthewriter 

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